photo blog_head_zpsfscr4tie.jpg
More adventurous than the average bear

Get email updates of new posts:        (Delivered by FeedBurner)

Friday, July 13, 2018

The remarkable history of the Netherlands

The remarkable history of the Netherlands

"They form in the early 17th century a company, the Dutch East Indies Company, which is a new type of structure that has never been seen before in Europe. And that is a capitalist imperialist venture. One that is based on shared risk and the pooling of capital, as opposed to the hierarchical monarchical structures that we know from Spain and Portugal, and this supercharges the Dutch economy, literally in the space of about 15 years or so, and it is with the money earned from the East Indies Company and other various trading organization, that the Dutch start to supersede all the previous empires and become the number one power by about 1630 1640, not just in Europe, but at the time in the world...

[On Protestantism and the UK] And from that ideological and cultural perspective, you would have thought there was a lot these two nations had in common. But very quickly, of course, they found themselves in a competitive relationship when it came to world markets.

So after the end of the 30 Years war, so from the 1650s to the 1670s, you see a series of Anglo Dutch wars - the three Angle Dutch wars - which are essentially about Britain for the first time, really challenging the Dutch for their global markets.

But nonetheless, even though the Dutch were, were clearly on the wane at this point, you got to remember that Holland in the late 17th century only had a population of two million people as opposed to 20 million people in France and about six million people in Britain. So it was really punching up above it's weight and still challenging the might of both France and Britain navally...

[On William of Orange being threatened by Charles II] We refer to the Glorious Revolution as the bloodless revolution and like to see it as the natural evolution of English and British parliamentary liberalism. But in fact, this was an invasion, and many of the things that we cherish about the British constitution, in actual fact came to us from Europe on the Dutch ships that brought William of Orange over to London. And so it was less of a Glorious Revolution and more of a successful invasion by a European Monarch...

Certainly in Holland, in the Netherlands, the hostility towards Germany is still palpable. Particularly if you go to the east of Holland, they have never really fully psychologically recovered from Nazism. And of course, Belgium was particularly stained by the first World War because so many of the interminable battlefields were of course on Belgium territory.

But that of course, gave them both an incentive to encourage, support and actively assist wherever possible Franco-German reconciliation. Because they understood that rather than being squeezed between two hostile great powers, Germany and France, it would be in their interest to make sure that Germany and France were friends. And so that's why you see the Benelux countries as really the sort of cultural and political heart of the European Union, particularly after the Germans and French had come up with the iron and steel agreement in the 1950s...

Liberalism is what you see when you go to Amsterdam in particular... But actually Holland outside of Amsterdam in particular is quite a quiet industrious disciplined and socially very conservative country."
blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Latest posts (which you might not see on this page)

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes